Saturday, August 31, 2013

BIG’s Blog: Can you imagine selling signage or naming rights on the inside of your church?

Don't laugh; that is where some in fundraising are headed . . . at least in their imaginations.

Why? Because they can't see beyond the current model of fundraising.

Can't you just imagine some of the conversations? "Come on Father, I know that selling advertising space around the statue of the Virgin Mary sounds different, but our direct mail appeals aren't working like they used to, and our current donors are getting old. We need new ideas for donations. Look, corporate sponsorship is huge."

Seriously? Do you really want to go there?

Over the top? Hyperbole? Maybe, but also, maybe not.

It's called our “paradigm.” Paradigm is defined broadly as “a philosophical or theoretical framework of any kind.”

Or, in more common parlance, our paradigm is the way we look at the world and believe it operates.

In the Development world of fundraising, especially if this has been your chosen profession for most of your life, you have a set of beliefs driven by experience that guides you.

And then, the very ground underneath your feet gives way. You find the old models that you have learned and perfected your whole life are suddenly not working anymore. They are failing. So your logical progression of thinking is that "I am failing." This leads to experimentation within the confines of how you think your world still works. THAT is what leads to outlandish ideas that could cross all kinds of lines.

What's the alternative? How about taking a breath, sitting back, listening to, and learning what is changing, and why it is changing. Look at how others are already learning and implementing a different direction based on the NEW paradigm of the way your world is really operating today . . . not the way you remember it.

Or . . . just keep doing the same thing and believing that it will change.

But don't be surprised if the idea of naming rights on the statue of the Virgin Mary comes up.

Join us.
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